Peer Pressure has been very controversial topic over the years. Today, the media has transformed the issue into a topic that is discussed every day. Many people are sometimes misinformed about topics because the media twist facts enough to make anyone believe what they tell them. The media has gotten the public to believe that peer pressure is all bad and only certain people deal with it, but peer pressure can be used positively or negatively depending on the situation. Peer pressure is when a person feels pressured to do something, act a certain way to fit into a certain group of people. A fact most people don’t know is that peer pressure affects all ages including adults. Most peer pressure occurs when people are trying to impress their friends. “…Occurs when people experience implied, or expressed persuasion to adopt similar values, beliefs, and goals, or to participate in the same activities as those in the peer group.” (World of Health) Though it can be used in a positive way as well, it all depends on how it’s being used. If a group gets good grades people in the group will want to get good grades. Hygiene can also be a positive way. A person needs to be associated with the right people to make peer pressure positive. In some states justice systems are using teen jury’s to try to use positive peer pressure. They feel that if a teen is judged by people their age they will be embarrassed for what they have done, trying to make the defendant want to be tried by a teen jury. “Teens who succumb to that pressure, for example, are often portrayed in the media as more likely to experiment with illegal drugs, break the law or engage in other risky behavior.” (Teen Court) Some people do not know how peer pressure affects people. The effect of peer pressure varies with age. The reason it peak during teenager years is because people are very socially active at that time in their life. It is not avoidable because everyone experiences it in their lifetime, it can only be resisted. Resistance declines as people are in their teenager years, it also affects genders differently. “… is associated in adolescents of all ethnic backgrounds with at risk behaviors such as truancy, drug use, sex, etc.” (World of Health) The proper belief is that peer pressure leads to drugs and other bad things. Many teens have fallen into the institutions their lives have accepted, because of the peer pressure of their peers. This all depends who our teens spend their time around with. They need to have good positive friends to not fall into this kind of pressure. We should choose our friends more wisely to make sure we are not negatively influenced. Also teens should try to work on resisting negativity instead of positivity. Another proper belief is peer pressure makes people do things that they do not want to do. Teens do not have to do what their friends tell them to do. They can find new friends if they are being pressured too much for their own good. No one can make them do something they do not want to do. It is the individual’s choice to act a certain way. “There is emerging evidence that a youth’s social network may be uniquely relevant and influential.” (Friends can) Peer pressure can be used in a positive way if properly used. Teens must know what the difference between what is good and bad peer pressure. They must also have good influence from friends. The effects of peer pressure will vary from person to person. The media is incorrect to label peer pressure as bad because it can be used positively, it cannot be used in a negative way if teens are aware of the surrounding situations.
Your peers are the people with whom you identify and spend time. In children and teens they are usually, but not always of the same age group. In adults, peers may be determined less by age and more by shared interests or professions. Peer pressure occurs when an individual experiences implied or expressed persuasion to adopt similar values, beliefs, and goals, or to participate in the same activities as those in the peer group. Many colleges welcome their incoming freshman class with orientations and other forms of celebrations for the future generation. The freshmen on the other hand have their own way of celebrating their college life, and it is nowhere near the same as the one provided by the college.. Once they enter college their drinking habits tend to increase. Others are right in their assertion because now those incoming freshman will be hanging around older people then they did when they were in high school, which according to researchers tends to lead them to drink more because now they are around an older crowd that can get alcohol a lot easier. The evidence goes to show that peer pressure starts affecting even the youngest of college students. "There are two main features that seem to distinguish teenagers from adults in their decision making," says Laurence Steinberg, a researcher at Temple University in Philadelphia. "During early adolescence in particular, teenagers are drawn to the immediate rewards of a potential choice and are less attentive to the possible risks. Second, teenagers in general are still learning to control their impulses, to think ahead, and to resist pressure from others." These skills develop gradually, as a teen's ability to control his or her behavior gets better throughout adolescence.
According to Dr. B. J. Casey from the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, teens are very quick and accurate in making judgments and decisions on their own and in situations where they have time to think. However, when they have to make decisions in the heat of the moment or in social situations, their decisions are often influenced by external factors like peers. In a study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, teen volunteers played a video driving game, either alone or with friends watching. What the researchers discovered was that the number of risks teens took in the driving game more than doubled when their friends were watching as compared to when the teens played the game alone. This outcome indicates that teens may find it more difficult to control impulsive or risky behaviors when their friends are around, or in situations that are emotionally charged.